reflection: the D word

December 26, 2011

recently a friend of mine posted something to the effect of how LGBT POC’s needed to speak up about the realities of depression in our lives. i’ve been thinking about it for the last few weeks, as i have been battling my own “demons.” the season doesn’t help either; short and cold days mixed in with holidays that are suppose to be “the most wonderful time of the year” only throw me deeper into this state of “wtf?”

i’m a positive person. and for many in my circle of family and friends, i’m considered “the life of the party.” when i have shared with people that i suffer from depression their first reaction is “really?” which has often left me to keep silent about it because i don’t want to be seen as anything but that “happy self.” god forbid i should say that sometimes it gets bad enough that i have to take medication to “level me out.” and when you add that piece to the mix you are then seen as unstable to many and if it’s on your life “record” and you decide to apply to certain jobs, your ass is shit outta’ luck ’cause well… “you just might GO crazy.” it is after all, the thinnest line.

culturally, it’s a taboo. as Dominicans and Puerto Ricans immediately will categorize you as “crazy.” they don’t necessarily believe in going to talk to someone about your problems either. and don’t you dare mention medication. i mean, that just puts you on the sidelines for good. my behavior changes when i’m feeling this way. i find myself sleeping more and disconnecting myself from loved one because i don’t want them to see me like this. because i don’t want to “change the image” they have of me

i’m a happy person. it’s just that sometimes i’m not.

i would be the first to encourage a loved one to seek help, to trust that things will get better, to believe that whatever it is they are going through is “momentarily.” and when i am going through it myself, i keep repeating those same words. intellectually, i understand that “this too shall pass.”

but it’s in the moment that this shit is toughest.

it’s in the moment where your thoughts take over. in the night time when the silence is loudest, all you can feel and hear and see is a fucking desire to just disappear. because you believe that in the absence of you, the rest of the shit that weighs you down will somehow disappear as well. that maybe, you become free of the shit that you carry if you’re no longer around.

and you look for places to find encouragement. reading quotes. quoting scripture. talking to a friend. finding ways to find ways out of your own self is a conscious fight we must make.

i can’t tell you what the root of my depression is. i can tell you the many places in my life where i feel unaccomplished. alone. sad. hopeless. helpless. i don’t know if this shit is nature or nurture. i just know it is. i have dealt with it throughout my lifetime. and yes, there have been days when i didn’t want to deal with it and i thought about other options. it is difficult to wake up to our respective realities some times.

yes, i know that there are people who have it worst. but i compare myself to no one. i am carrying my own weight.

i agree with my friend that we must speak out more about this. it helps to know that we are not alone. it helps to talk it out with others in similar situations.

i know that this will pass.

but for the moment… it sits with me. breathes with me. sleeps with me. and weighs on me. and i walk with it.

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c-section

September 22, 2011

women-health-info.comi miss my uterus.

the crib
that had the potential
to give life to another life
is gone.

its been gone
for about four years now.

still, i miss it.

they say the first organ
to develop is the heart.
i’ve always wondered what
rhythm it would’ve taken
with mine. what sound
would it have made?

i thought i’d healed
from this experience.
only to be reminded
of where i am in the process
when the questions are asked,
“do you have children?,
any potential you might be pregnant?”
(i wished they read the chart)

“no.”

i drift in thought
stare distantly
………….

wondering what i would’ve looked
like with a belly. i stand infront
of the mirror and push my belly
out as far as it can go…
hold the belly with my hands
and ask, “would she have looked
like me? what traits of mine
would she have inherited? would she
have freckles? thick dark hair? would her toes
be as long as mine? what about her voice?
what kinda’ things would she have
liked? softball? ballet? (just life’s way of laughing at me)
would she enjoy my father’s music the way i do? would she be
healthy? like to cuddle the way i do? cookies and milk?
poetry? i wonder if she’d be as patient as i am.
or as stubborn.”

my mom would’ve been crazy about her.
my dad would’ve been gentle.
my brothers would’ve been sweet… ’til she got to about five-years-old.
then they’d play these little “tricks” on her.
and my sister… well,  she’s always wanted me to make her an aunt.

adjusting the sails to the realities of life
is often times difficult.
and when you think you’re at peace
with something, one simple question
can throw you right back to
december 7, 2007.

i know that there are other ways to be a parent.
but it was the life to life process i wanted
to experience.
i wanted to feel her heart’s beat inside my body.
watch hands and legs stretch out. fingers and toes curl.
kicks and movement.

labor pains? contractions? i’d taken ’em.

i wanted to know what the soul feels
when you hold her for the first time.
that “glow” women get after giving birth
is the very light of new life shining through.

…….

but even if the questions aren’t asked,
i am reminded every time i look in the mirror
and see the scar that runs across my abdomen
like a c-section.

c for castration.
c for change of plans.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2011

Writer’s Note:
Consider taking the time to learn about Endometriosis at www.endometriosis.org. Like many other women-only related diseases, endometriosis receives little attention and research.  The causes of the disease are all theories. And most women, including myself, end up having to have a hysterectomy (I was just 29).
I still have stage 4 endometriosis. And it can come back any time. It has affected more than just my reproductive system; compromising other organs significantly.  Start early with the females in your life; if they’re experiencing certain symptons DO NOT assume “it’s normal pains for being a female.”

*Image Copied from women-health-info.com